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Random Little Things: A TBAF Purge

 

New Puck Daddy: a bit of a slow-burn excitement builder for the start of the new season.

(By the way, see the ad at the top of the page? I’m live blogging four NCAA games between some damn fine college teams Friday/Sunday)

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Hey! Guess what?

It’s mind-dump day!

Let’s pull up the ‘ol To Blog About File from my phone and let ‘er buck (first off, shouldn’t the apostrophe on “ol’ ” come after, not before the word? I feel like I always put it before for some reason. And THAT’S the type of nonsense you’re about to read.)

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First, the NHL11 commercial with Duncan Keith. “The Moment.”

Super annoyed. If we’re to assume that his players getting destroyed are him forseeing future events…. he can’t forsee ways to get anyone the puck beyond a suicide pass?

Then his SECOND option is “lets just get it out?” …In which he envisions shooting it straight up the gut and turning it over. As opposed to the standard fire-it-off-the-glass, or you know, maybe beating one opponent’s hockey stick with a clear.

Then he takes it up the gut the whole way and, as Down Goes Brown noted, encounters one defender, who happens to be inexplicably lying down. Annoyed. Great premise, poor execution.

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How about the difference between a group of guys sitting around drinking vesus a group of girls doing the same? (warning: massive generalizations ahead, just looking for your stories) I went out with Bri and three co-worker friends of hers a couple weeks back, and I swear:

Group of men drinking = mood up.

Group of women drinking = mood down.

Each story was more sad than the last, so-and-so, divorced, what’s-her-name, dad died, what’s-his-pickle, torched an orphanage. I feel like my Mom’s friends do the same. Bri’s rarely like that if it’s just her and I.

I mean holy lord almighty, I was ready to chew the business end of a gun until we got them out of the apartment and into a fun place. Is this common, or was it just a poorly-timed night?

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You know what was one of the best goals of last year, in my opinion? I saw it again the other day and remembered how much I loved it. Hint: it’s not any batting-it-out-of-the-air play. That involves being able to hit a baseball, which is a skill jabillions of humans have. This spin-n-tuck by Parise is absurd:

That’s just nifty.

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I’m wondering how many years it’ll be before I have to shave in one of those “fat beards” that highlights where my jawline would be if you could still see it. Look, this was once the shape of my face. I’m on my way.

Uncomfortably odd facial expression here. Neat.

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Tweeted this awhile back. The Islanders and Oilers are both mid-rebuild, coming off a bunch of years of misery, allowing them to stack up on talent. It’s exactly how Pittsburgh/Chicago got where they are today (that, and a willingness to spend once those players matured).

So, could history repeat itself?

The Isles peak a few years before the Oil (they’ve been rebuilding longer), kickass for a few years, then the Oil take over. Whaddya think? Likely?

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I like the Randy Moss trade for the “get something before it’s nothing factor.”

Keeps your organization from bottoming out the way the two above-mentioned NHL teams have. The problem starts for teams (like the NY Rangers) who take the guy as he’s headed down the slippery slope (in this case, the Vikings), then give him a multi-year deal – it’s that last payday that allows him to shut it down. Phew, my “earning” days are over. Now I’ll just collect.

It’s Albert Haynesworth all over again – an eight year deal after he hit his ceiling that meant he’d never have to prove himself in the league again. Yeah, I could skip a few days workouts too. It’s not the same as giving the big/long payday to a guy who’s yet to reach his ceiling. It’s that end of the career, three-year deal that buries teams (usually because they sign a guy for his name, not on what he’s going to do over the course of his contract). Good for New England for avoiding suffering through those years, as opposed to what Yankee fans are about to endure with Jeter.

Sooo.... no TD? Yes TD?

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One of the only things I don’t like about football: when a guy scores a touchdown for your team, instead of erupting in huzzahs you have to wait to see if there’s a flag. And if that little yellow “flag” box pops up on the TV, you have to nervously wait to see if you’re allowed to celebrate it, cause they might void the TD.

For the most part, when someone scores in hockey, you know you can safely emote. And yes, I went with “emote.” Anyway, it’s a better set-up in puck.

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This article isn’t new or anything, but I recently discovered Yahoo!’s Nicholas Cotsonika. Dude is a fantastic writer – I particularly enjoyed this piece on Ovechkin: Part Valor, Part Villain. Enjoy. Nicely walks the center-line while still being interesting, something that’s tough to do in the media world (as recently discussed on this here blog).

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Given Ovechkin’s propensity to celebrate goals like he just won the lottery, how fun would it be to watch him win a Stanley Cup? I bet he could have a grand mal seizure while holding the trophy and none of us would suspect anything was wrong.

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How has this gone undiscussed in all the Crosby-lives-with-Lemieux bashing (a group in which I’m proud to say I’ve been a part): Ovechkin lives WITH HIS PARENTS (from above article). Sure, he owns the house, but his Mom cooks all his meals and stuff. What the heck is going on around here? This never came up before?

Undefended breakaway allow a lil looser style, mefinks.

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Basketball creates more stars than any sport, for a bunch of reasons:

-Players can play every minute of the game.

-You can make plays where, if you do it well enough, nobody can stop you. Like, literally. No other sport doesn’t allow a pass/shot/pitch/whatever-type-of-scoring-attempt to be defended. Get a jumpshot off, all you have to do is be good. Enter MJ, Lebron etc.

-Most visibility. Fans basically sit on the court, and nobody wears a helmet/mask/dugout. I hate wearing a dugout.

There’s a million reasons actually. Was just batting that around in my tiny brain.

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Here’s a hilarious chart by Matt Shirley (Paul Shirley’s brother), called “Girl’s First Drink Prediction Chart.” Really funny stuff.

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…..Okay, I’m taking a halfway breather at a thousand words. I’ll probably resume with the rest of the TBAF tomorrow. Have a great day!

One-Touch Passes, Zero Theme

 

Y’know what I don’t need when asking for directions?  Options.  “Well, you can either take the 40 to the 105, or you can just stay on 3rd street and take it up to -” NO.  I obviously don’t know WTF I’m doing, which is why I’m asking.  Narrow it down to one route for me and go with that set.  THANKS.

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Y’know what else is stupid?  When a bunch of people go out for dinner, the bill comes, and one or a few of the people don’t address it immediately.  It’s not that they don’t want to pay, they’re just not in any rush to deal with it.  The no-rush comes with a hint of “I’m so rich I could care less what the final number even is.” 

I sit there and stress out about the server coming back and looking to run cards or cash, and we haven’t addressed the situation.  WHY ARE YOU ALL SO CASUAL ABOUT THIS, THE BILL IS HERE!  {Also, don’t call it “the cheque”.  You pay bills, you get paid with a cheque.} *nothing to do with this past weekend Char, it’s a saved note in my phone

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I recently met Fred Couples ex-girlfriend (who had apparently just installed FJ’s, by the way.  …As in, fake jammers).  Freddy’s been my favourite golfer for as long as I can remember, but I’m a little weirded out by how he was living – at her house, with her roommates.  Hardly the palatial situation I saw for Freddy, his money, his smooth swing and his flowing hair.

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I busted out a column for USA Today on how being a free agent is like a choose your own adventure novel.  Spoiler: I didn’t finish the novel without failing the first time.

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I like that baseball’s All-Star Game means something.  All fans of other sports (hi, hockey fans) do is complain about their sport’s ASG, so it’s nice that there’s some relevance in one sport.  I don’t necessarily want to take away from the team with the best record, but surely there’s some reward we can give the NHL conference that wins.  Last change in game one?  A designated hitter that gets to roam the ice?  Extra ice girls?  Just something.

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Puck Daddy Live Chat at 1 PM EST, lets do dis like Brutus.  Puck Daddy

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It’s almost time for the British Open!  I’m pumped – I’ll actually be around the place this weekend, and my good ‘ol DVR machine is gonna let me watch Tiger’s triumphant return to glory (yes, I just predicted he’ll win).  It’s too bad golf’s majors get less interesting as the year goes on (okay, the first two are probably tied), but at least there’s always the, um… Fedex Cup?  Boo.

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So far in the “easier to get a passport in Canada or the US” debate, the US is wayyyy out in front.  Chill, Canada, it’s just me, Justin.

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Okay, I’ve gotta go chat with the boys at PD!  What’s up in the hockey world that we can discuss today?

“The Players Angle”, The Perfect Game, and Game Four

 

Since I started this whole writing quest, people “in the know” about journalism have advised me that the angle I have that other writers don’t is that I’ve played (pro) hockey, so I should use that.

Af first, I was tentative to beat that dead horse all that much – after all, I figured having done that would just help me see the game differently to better write about it.  But as it turned out, people seemed to enjoy the pieces where I gave a more “behind the scenes” look at things.  At least that’s what I took from the responses I got.

Y! - Far trendier than "Yahoo!"

Because of that advice, and learning that was what people seemed to enjoy, I began mercilessly pummeling the dead horse.  Especially once the Yahoo! gig came up – I wanted every piece to generate that same response.

My point is this – I know you know I played hockey.  We’re well beyond that now. 

I don’t write about that stuff to point out how awesome it is that I played and pat myself on the back.  I write about it because it’s the one thing I have that people with their “educations” and “degrees” don’t have (take the quotation marks as playfully sarcastic “ooo, way to go Doogie Howser” kind of way).  Gotta use what you’ve got, you know?  If you’ve got a slice, aim left.

So yeah, anyway, that was a long walk to take to get to this - sorry if it’s seemed a little self-indulgent lately.  It’s been with a purpose.

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Just to throw a quick knuckle-curveball in today, what’re your two cents on baseball’s perfect game situation?  I recently had a good question fired my way about it….

He's got a pretty good view from there, no?

Basically, Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarrago had gone 26 batters up, 26 batters down.  So, two outs, bottom of the ninth.  The guy hits a ground ball to the first base side, the pitcher covers the base, catches it, and the guy is out by a half-step.  The ump calls the guy safe.

There’s been 20 perfect games in the history of baseball (as was pointed out to me, roughly 350,000 games), and this kid just threw a perfect game, but had it stolen from him by a shitty call.  He was amazingly gracious about it (video is almost tear-worthy), and the ump was thoroughly apologetic after the game.

So then the argument is…. should MLB overturn the umpire’s call and give the guy what’s rightfully his?  It’s a tough debate. 

My two cents:

Sadly, no they shouldn’t. 

It’s a game that still relies a certain amount of the human element.  There’s been thousands of wrong calls over those 350,000 games, and it’s something you deal with as a baseball player.  Until replay steps in, part of getting an out is convincing the guy making the call that you got the guy.  And unfortunately, the last play of that game just happened to be too close to guarantee his perfect game.

It’s sucks, it’s wrong…. but for now, that’s the way it is.

{Read Joe Posnanski’s AWESOME column on it here.}

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Game Four in Philly tonight:

Sharp as a cue ball, that Carcillo.

Since I’ve been lucky enough to nail a couple post-season predictions lately, I’m gonna push my luck and try again.

Tonight, I’m calling a Blackhawks win – the first game that’s not a one-goaler, let’s say 4-2, and mayyyybe they get the empty netter.  Okay, yes, they do.  5-2.

Like you, I’m expecting the very mildly important substitutions of Van Riemsdyk in for Carcillo, and Ladd in for Burrish. 

By the way – I know this reference is old news, but did anybody else think Carcillo headbutted Kopecky (in Game Two, I think)?  At first I thought so, but then I realized “no way somebody with no visor headbutts a guy who’s wearing one.  Nobody’s that dumb.”  But man, take a look —>  Right?   Maybe?

(UPDATE: He definitely tried to, but was already within kissing distance, so the headbutt didn’t have any momentum. 0:50 second mark.)

What’re your thoughts tonight?  Does Philly get a second win at home tonight?

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My column for Puck Daddy will be up earlier today, on Pronger (again) and his disregard for the media advice all players are given.  Link posted soon.  (Also, I reference Littlefoot from The Land Before Time, who actually looks more like the AHL’s Matthew Spiller, but whatever).

By the way, Puck Daddy Live Chat at game time tonight.  Be there, I know I will.

ScatterShot

 

Yesterday I took my filled-out forms and old Canadian passport to UPS, and planned to ship it to renewal headquarters in Quebec to get a new one (please no riots, please no riots).  After a healthy wait in line, the guy had me filling out forms like I was filing for citizenship, not just sending documents for proof of it.  And then this:

Yeah, there’s a lot of paperwork, man.  The Canadian border people can be a little facetious.

Still struggling to imagine what he thinks “facetious” means.

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Aside from the Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp that my Dad, brother and I run (which is partly for charity, partly for us to hemmorhage ungodly amounts of money into), I have another event to promote:

A great cause

For those of you in Kelowna, BC (my hometown), my brother is putting on a beer and burger charity event (100% of money is donated) for Spinal Cord Research, through the Rick Hansen Foundation.

Last year, Josh Gorges and his buddies were a part of it, and will be again this year.  It’s $20, which gets you a burger and two beers, there’s an auction with some sports memorabilia, and it’s at Sturgeon Hall Pub June 12th.  Last year Ryan Cuthbert bought a cherry pie for $150, just so you know what you’re getting into.  There’s already not many tickets left, so hit him up at jeff.bourne@gmail.com if you want some. 

 Tell him I sent you…. and you’ll get absolutely nothing free, cause it’s for charity, tightwad :)

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Today’s links: My column for Puck Daddy on what PLAYING IN A GAME SEVEN is like.  It’ll probably run around 4 EST.  There should be a second one later in the evening if you care to check back then,  I just need to create that one still.

My column for Hockey Primetime on WHY THE TIME A GAME STARTS AT MATTERS, which is an odd topic, but I just loved playing day games.

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I’ve decided Brian Burke is “Kenneth, the bad-ass mail clerk with the heart of gold” from Family Guy.  Not sure if you remember him (couldn’t find video), but here’s the transcript of his brief cameo:

Kenneth WILL cut you.

Peter: Yeah. The new owners gave everyone raises. Even Kenneth, the bad-ass mail clerk with the heart of gold.
[cut to mail room]
Peter: Hi, Kenneth. Hey, did I get any mail?
Kenneth: No! And if you come any closer, I’ll cut you!
Peter: Okay! Okay! Man, what a bad-ass!
Man: Yeah? Well that bad-ass just gave half his paycheck to orphans. Orphans with diseases!
[cue sentimental instrumental music]

Long story short - Burke is continuing on with what his son started.  Quite the family.
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My thoughts on the status of the Conference Finals:

Philly is too deep to shut down (unless you remember the regular season)

They’re over.  They’re just so utterly over.

I hate being “that guy” before the fat lady sings, but what am I supposed to say?  I just can’t see either team – Montreal or San Jose – winning four of the next five games against their (more talented) opponents.  They could steal a game or two, sure, but I just can’t fathom a way in which they could climb all the way out of the well.

You know what’s an effed up, crazy, please-don’t-ever-let-this-happen possibilty? 

We see three straight sweeps, and never see a team push back in a series.  Both teams sweep their way to the finals, and Chicago sweeps Philly.  It would be pretty ridiculous, but too many upsets on one side throws things all outta whack. 

Here’s to hoping for Montreal and San Jose wins tonight.

Thanks for your patience!  Too many outlets, not enough time these days!

Go Thursday.

Links, and Reasons To Love Hockey

 

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Okay, so not all those columns I mentioned yesterday have run yet.  The Puck Preview did (and was bang-on, back-pat back-pat back-pat), but not til 6 EST.

Today, the links I’ll provide will be a JOE THORNTON COLUMN and a DUNCAN KEITH COLUMN.  But in the meantime….

After a comment on yesterday’s blog, I realized my readership has quadrupled over the course of the year, so many of you may have missed my “Five Reasons I Love Hockey” that I did for Puck Daddy.   Well, here they are – I’d love to hear yours in the comment section too.

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From a player’s perspective, we bring you Five Reasons Justin Bourne Loves Hockey.

1. Clean Ice.

If a stiff breeze hit that glass-like pre-period ice, it would advance the puck.  What that means is, an on-ice snapshot is gonna peel paint off the post.  Zero percent resistance, 100 percent awesome. It’s the only time that the canvas is predictable and true, without ruts and bumps, just pure, cold smoothness. 

A saucer pass will land with that flat “smack” sound, skating is easy, and it just looks like shiny, glossy, perfect, happiness.  I imagine heaven to be that sheet of ice, with a perfectly-taped brand-new blue and orange CCM Vector one piece (from six years ago), taped in white with light wax (oh, and a good goalie who loves taking breakaways). But that’s just me.  I used to love those Bauer commercials – “A clean sheet – what are you going to write?”

2. The Good Kind of “Ting!”

That miniscule, high-pitched “TING!” that’s barely audible when you score just inside the post and catch just the tiniest piece of it. Not the metallic “thud” of a puck hitting the post solid. Only those crazy goalies like that one.

It’s the perfect shot – as far to the outskirts of the net as possible without having the puck rejected like a basketball off the back of the rim. Ideally, the “ting!” would come from the top-corner, off the elbow, glove hand. That’s the good stuff right there, that good, crisp “ting!”. And if you’re lucky, the net is wound super-tight, so it spits the puck right back out, making you feel like you’re packin’ Ovechkin-style heat (you’re not).

Wait, the Leafs scored?

3.The Simultaneous Bench Pop-Up.

You just get to the bench. You spray yourself with water. Your team has the puck deep in the offensive zone, battling for it along the wall. It’s late in the third.  Someone gets a handle on it and moves it up the wall to the d-man, who walks it to the middle and loads up a slap-shot – a seeing-eye slapshot – that sparks the red light. At that exact second, every single guy bumps his head on the rafters, hugs six people at once and has a mini-seizure.  There’s just nothing as cool as that shared experience.  Only in hockey, man.

4. The Roller Coaster of “Oo’s” and “Aahs”.

Its one of my favourite hockey observations I’ve ever heard, from my friend Neil Corbett – “no game makes you think ‘oh, this is good, this is good, oh, this is bad, this is bad’ as much as hockey.”

As a player, in a back and forth game that doesn’t have many whistles, when it’s just rush – rush – rush – rush, you love the audible crowd gasps.  If there’s a big hit, or someone hits a post, or better – there’s a breakaway – it’s just too intense.  You know it’s going to be a huge reaction from the streaking opportunity either way, so you can almost feel everybody holding their breath as the player skates towards the opposing goal, with the quiet-but-growing energy about to explode. What other major sport is a breakaway not guaranteed to wield something? Football? Basketball? Please.

Pure adrenalin.

5. The Breakthrough.

Hockey games are frustrating. “Ooo just about” “I almost had it”  “I just missed you man, sorry”.  So there’s no feeling like that breakthrough where it all finally goes right for a play, after all the frustrating could-have-beens. 

 Tic-tac-toe, Gooooaaaallll! When everything clicks just right, it’s a completely serene sense of peace, with a dash of jubilation.  Stats padded, a moment of relief washes over you. For the first time that game, there was literally nothing better you could have done.  It was your ultimate goal, your best-case scenario, and you can go sit down on the bench and pretend that you don’t want to continue smiling until you tuck in for bed that night.  Cause you do.

I love this game.

All Over The Map

 

Guuuuuud morning.

It always feels nice to return to writing on Bourne’s Blog, because my own standards are far lower than the other sites I write for.  I was dying to call Halak “JaroChrist HaJesus” in today’s Puck Previews, but I figured that probably wouldn’t have gone over too hot.  My sincerest apologies to those of you who’re offended by my taking the lord’s name in vain, but I mean, c’mon, that’s a great nickname.

Let’s hit the links!

1) For those of you who missed it yesterday, here’s my column on the Hawks pulling the Bolland/Versteeg switcheroo, and how it was intentional.

2) Also, here’s yesterday’s Puck Daddy piece on matching lines, in which an inordinate amount of people went out of their way to point out that I’m not, in fact, the dumbest human alive.

To come:

3) When it posts, this will be a link to today’s Puck Previews I’ve written for Puck Daddy.  I’m starting to feel like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, but with “puck” as my “definitely”.

4) Also when it posts (today or tomorrow), this will be the link to my column “In Praise of Duncan Keith”, which wasn’t a hard one to write.

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Meandering Thoughts….

A Montreal Canadiens reporter had his tires slashed and beer cans crushed on his car in Philly.

What state of mind would you have to be in to trash the car of someone from the opposing city?  I mean, I get it, you’re drunk.  But drunk and hateful?  I don’t buy that you can get drunk and become hateful.  I think you eventually get drunk enough to act on being hateful.  It’s just so utterly ridiculous.

I’m not prone to generalize entire cities fan-bases (as so many fans love to do), but man, Philly…. pull it together. 

Nice work on the “ole” thing though.  Biting, clever… good stuff.

 

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Dale Tallon is the new GM of the Florida Panthers.  He sat with my Dad and I at a Yankee game a few years back and called his young defenseman Duncan Keith “the most underpaid player in the NHL”.  Turns out he was kinda right, since the guy’s up for (and should win) the Norris not long after saying that.

He’s the right guy to make responsible decisions (despite the qualifying offer debacle), while having a good grasp of the way today’s game is played, not the old style of hockey.  Florida could use his help.

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You know you’ve missed my cat:

Backflop

Zzzzz.... Hobbes pose.

The adolescent years are tough...

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Some NHL Playoff facts you may enjoy:

*Montreal is 0-4 when they outshoot their opponents.  Soooo, that’s weird.

*Michael Leighton has a 105:50 shutout streak going.

*Thornton, Marleau and Heatley have still combined for less goals than Joe Pavelski.

*After getting pulled, Halak hasn’t lost either of the two following games.

*Chicago is 6-1 on the road.

*Only four Canadiens have double digit points, and they’ve played 15 games (with, oddly, an 8-7 record.  Well placed wins, it seems)

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That’s all I’ve got for today folks.  Feel free to add your favourite stats in the comment section below.  Those are always fun tidbits.  Go Tuesday!

 

Marleau got straight robbed here...

Nine Hawk-Thoughts From Game One

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Friends!

My apologies for the absence on Friday – I hope you found your way over to Puck Daddy to get your fix.  (In fact, here’s today’s latest, on why matching lines sucks, and is distracting.)

So far at their great site, I’ve written about how the lopsided shot chart had helped Montreal winhow the Bruins pain isn’t exactly going to heal, and about how the Flyers dominating win hints at a not-so-shitty Stanley Cup final.

The majority of my topic-specific posts will be up over there for the next week, and I’ll be using Bourne’s Blog for my usual scattering of random thoughts and links.  More links than usual probably – in fact, here’s my column for USA Today, on the Bolland/Versteeg switcheroo.  Let’s talk puck.

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I gave the Sharks/Blackhawks game a good watching, and here’s what I jotted down in my phone along the way:

1) Patick Kane and Duncan Keith are just so dynamic.  They have an explosive sneakiness to their game you don’t see very often (especially on the same team), and I’m starting to think that the day they had the press conference announcing extensions for Keith, Kane and Toews might have been more valuable than I originally estimated.

Everyone (including me) rails about the difficulty they’ll have with cap issues coming up, but they’ll have those three guys and Hossa for a lot of years to come.  Quality parts like Burrish and Bolland are always interchangeable.

2) Kane doesn’t get hit very often, because not only is he crazy talented, he’s freaking smart.  He’s one of those kids that’s a c***bag because he’s been better than you at everything since he was a fetus, and he knows it.  And most people hate him for it.  Well, my respect for his game is growing.

3) One thing with Kanes game I don’t like - he doesn’t stop on the puck enough.  Just cruises around waiting for a chance.  I’m in no position to judge…. I mean, Hi kettle, I’m pot… you’re BLACK.  But it’s still the truth.

4) Hossa kind of has a bad rap, probably from switching teams to try to win a Cup, but think about the guy:  A), he had other long-term offers that year, but turned them down to try to win a Cup.  Sure, he was wrong, but his motives are better than a lot of players.  B) He’s not a floater.  So he gets all those points, but he kills PK’s (and scores shorties), plays defense, is strong on pucks, and has a good +/-.  So yeah…. booooo what a loser.

5) In keeping with the Chi-town praise thing, they rolled their lines, and gave ice time to the guys that help in other ways (Eager, Bolland, Burrish etc.).  A fastball is effective, but it’s sure harder to deal with when you mix in the odd curveball.

6) It’s not, technically, but…. I feel like the chin part of Niemi’s mask is a little… fuschia-ey.  It just doesn’t seem like a true, solid red.  Am I crazy?

7) Crap, a non-Hawk thought: of all the things guys say on the ice in a game, they can’t ever run a decent full sentence or two from a guy who’s mic’d up?  They had Clowe (I think) rigged up in this game, and all you could hear were half grunts and mutters.  Okay we get it, they swear…. get the complicated bleep machine out and lets hear the rest of those apparently-tainted sentences.

8} Byfuglien’s game winner (god I hate spelling his name) was the simple case of two guys caught between duties, with a lil extra blame for Blake.  Heatley is heading to the goal line/wall for a low rim they’ve clearly called, so he’s not in Byfuglien’s kitchen, and Blake is protecting the net front.  Unfortunately, the winger is his guy, so when they don’t have the puck, his gap has gotta be tight.  Granted, Byfuglien scoring from there is like Shaq hitting a three, so I wouldn’t exactly being d’ing up too tight either.

9) Bolland’s not going to the box when he was the guy who got the penalty was intentional.  Whenever the linesman isn’t sure who’s supposed to go, coaches constantly try to send a guy who doesn’t kill penalties as much.  But still, it was incredible that it went unnoticed at that point in the game, and then Bolland clears the zone and redirects a shot off the net with a half-block.   For more on that, again, here’s today’s USA Today column.

Okay!  Busy times here for me, churning out columns like it’s my…. crap.

Have a great Monday.

A Links Course

Jeff n JB 

I’m not quite in the frame of mind necessary to be simultaneously insightful and sarcastic as I usually try to be when I write.  Without going too far into detail, and without being too much of a Debbie Downer, I’ll just say that I almost lost my brother last night (who’s also my best friend and best-man-to-be).  He’s apparently on the mend though.  If you wanna know more about Jeff, here’s his personal site.

So, what you get instead, is Bourne’s Blog’s version of a clip-show.  A bunch of links to stuff I’ve written recently, or just feel like linking to.  Hope you enjoy:

 

 

1)  Personal travel stories I gathered in quote form from six current/past NHLers – Dale Hawerchuk, Josh Gorges, Chris Higgins, Brett McLean, Eric Nystrom and Bryan Trottier.  Personal Travel Stories

2) For Yahoo! Sports hockey blogger “Puck Daddy”, I contributed Five Reasons I Love Hockey.

3) An email interview I did for Kuklas’s Corner’s Patrick Hoffman a few weeks back – If you can tolerate a couple uninteresting answers to start, it gets a little better. An Interview About Myself… and the NHL

4) An article I wrote a few weeks back about Trevor Smith being a step away from Islanders-ready (and if you ask me, I’d swap him out with a person they think is ready right now). Trevor Smith

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